GEORGE TOWN: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has detained 14 illegal immigrants for trying to enter the country on Wednesday (March 9).
Penang MMEA director Maritime Capt Abd Razak Mohamed said the arrests were made after the agency received information from fishermen about a suspicious boat in Malaysian waters at about 9.30am.
"A patrol boat on its routine Ops Pertiwi rounds was dispatched and a wooden boat was spotted 2.9 nautical miles southwest of Sungai Pinang," he said in a statement on Thursday (March 10).
Capt Abd Razak said when the patrol boat approached the wooden boat for inspection, four individuals from the boat jumped into the sea to escape but were detained by MMEA personnel.
He said that the 14 detained are believed to be Indonesian and are aged between 21 and 51, adding that the boat was originally from the Seruway jetty in Acheh, Indonesia.
Capt Abd Razak said all illegal immigrants had been detained and brought to the Batu Uban marine police jetty before being handed to investigation officers for further action.
The case is being investigated under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act (Atipsom) 2007, and Immigration Act 1959/63, he added.